Friday, July 24, 2009

GOP Leadership Fires Two Ward Chairman For Supporting Scott Schneider Over Councilor Ryan Vaughn: Open Letter to GOP Chairman Tom John

July 24, 2009

Marion County Republican Chairman Tom John
Marion County GOP Headquarters

Dear Tom:

I learned today that two Washington Township Chairman who were supporters of successful State Senate candidate Scott Schneider were supposedly fired by Center Area Chairman David Brooks. This includes Liz Karlson who has a long history of tireless devlotion to the Marion County Republican Party.

First of all, I would advise you that pursuant to party rules, David Brooks as area chairman has no authority whatsoever to fire anyone in the organization. Only you as county chairman have the authority to fire a ward chairman. Further, David Brooks is a resident of Hamilton County. That you are continuing to allow him to act in a supervisory capacity within the Marion County GOP organization is highly improper.

Second, I would have thought that the results of the Tuesday night vacancy election would have taught you and Brooks that your good old boy intimidation tactics no longer have a place in the Marion County GOP organization. You and Brooks’ efforts to rig the contest by filling precinct vacancies with mummy dummies and strong arming the rest of the organization to support Ryan Vaughn failed miserably. The Republican organization in Senate District 30 emphatically rejected your tactics and elected a candidate with integrity. Now, Brooks, possibly with your support, decides to take revenge against two supporters of a newly-elected state senator because they did not support the losing candidate. Do you really think that’s a wise course of action?

Third, if you haven’t noticed the Republicans are no longer a majority party in the county. If we are going to be successful at becoming the majority party again in the county, we need to be reaching out to non-Republican voters including people who have left the GOP because of these heavy-handed tactics, not attacking those who do so.

Fourth, I understand that Brooks has challenged the honesty of the other ward chairmen he fired. I have known David Brooks for probably 20 years. Brooks’ challenging anyone’s honesty is a little like Obama challenging someone to be more fiscally responsible. Further, David Brooks could not care less whether the Republican Party is conservative, liberal, communist or socialist. All he cares about is how much GOP leaders will financially reward him for acting as a hatchet man in the party.

Tom, I am demanding that you immediately put an end to these strong-arm intimidation tactics against good, loyal Republicans who don’t support the candidates you and Brooks want supported. If the organization is going to be strong, it needs to tolerate independent thought and even dissent, especially since it is a minority party in the county.

I am further demanding that you reinstate the two ward chairman who were allegedly fired and that you dismiss Hamilton County resident David Brooks from further work in the Marion County GOP organization. I will expect the reinstatements, and Brooks' termination, to be completed by Friday, July 31st. Should you fail to act by then, please be advised that opposition to your intimidation tactics will continue and you can expect that the shellacking your and Brooks’ leadership took in Tuesday's Senate District 30 caucus will be repeated many times over.

It is time to rebuild the Marion County GOP organization. Tom, you can either be on the right side of history by making our party better or on the wrong side continuing to tear this party apart with intimidation tactics and threats. I hope you make the right choice.


Paul K. Ogden


Update: Libertarian and former congressional candidate Sean Shepard has written a beautiful piece talking about how Liz Karlson has worked tirelessly to try to encourage Libertarians to join the Republican Party and how she has promoted Republican candidates to Libertarians. It can be found here.


Gary R. Welsh said...

Paul, The party leaders who are quick to judge our loyalty were the same people openly dismissing Ballard when he ran for mayor. Explain to me how the party could appoint as a commiteeperson a former city councilor who openly supported the re-election of Bart Peterson and attended Peterson fundraisers as a sitting Republican councilor. This is the same councilor who took an anti-tax pledge as a candidate and then supported the Peterson tax increases. This is the same councilor they not only appointed as a precinct committeeperson after last year's elections but also appointed as a member of the Metropolitan Development Commission. Now I personally like Scott Keller, but I don't understand why he is rewarded for his open opposition to his own party's standard bearer in the 2007 election, while others are punished for expecting Republicans like Mayor Ballard to support the fiscally-sound policies and honest and open government they promised when they were candidates. They won't be satisfied until they run every decent person out of the party so they can have their permanent minority party that's thrown a few jobs and contracts by the Dems to make sure the county is run entirely by Democratic officeholders. I'm sure certain law firms will do just fine under this arrangement. Note that the chief instigators of this Friday night massacre are all attorneys who milk the political system for their own personal benefit.

Downtown Indy said...

Wow! There's smoke coming out of my monitor right now.

I hope TJ takes this to heart, but I seriously doubt he will.

You correctly characterize the problem with party politics these days. Well, maybe it's always been like this and we no longer are kept dumb and happy by the Secret Society's hidden agenda.

Boss Tweed's only distinction from many Marion County politicans seems to be that HE got caught.

Thanks to you and a growing network of internet bloggers, it's getting harder for them to keep their backroom deals in the backroom.

Carlos F. Lam said...

The e-mails that D. Brooks sent specifically state that the firings are not because of their support of Scott Schneider. Nevertheless, their timing -- they come on the heels of the SD 30 caucus -- certainly raise the specter of retaliation. Either (a) the firings are retaliatory or (b) Mr. Brooks used very poor strategic judgment in executing the firings so close to the SD 30 caucus. Either way, the firings certainly give a reasonable observer the impression that the organization simply cannot tolerate dissent from within its ranks.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Catholics, as far as Brooks' claim the firings had nothing to do with the ward chairmen's support of Schneider over Vaughn, how stupid do you think he thinks we are when he says they have nothing to do with the SD 30 caucus.

Does anyone really believe Liz Karlson would have been fired if she had supported Ryan Vaughn?

Carlos F. Lam said...

Certainly, the timing is extremely suspect and -- as I said -- give a reasonable observer the idea that the firings were retaliatory. Nobody can prove that David Brooks is lying about the firings. Absent such proof, we cannot say that he is being untruthful. At the very least, though, he is guilty of committing an act that will raise questions in the minds of reasonable observers. Such acts do not grow respect for the GOP.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Catholics, you're way too charitable. I know Brooks very, very well. He has spent about two decades going after Republicans who don't do what he and other party leadership wants. Retaliation, intimidation, etc., it's his stock in trade. He's been the hatchet many in the party off and on for two decades.

I'm pretty sure that Brooks is not going to come out and confess that he did the firings (again he has no authority to fire anyone) because they supported Vaughn. But when something smells like a pile of manure, it's a safe bet it's not a rose.

M Theory said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Liz Karlson has not, and is not, a member of the Libertarian Party, it's Indiana affiliate, or of Marion County. In fact, Liz has worked diligently in organizing the Republican Liberty Caucus, and has been picking at our membership to recruit for the Republican Party.

To anyone who asks why we don't work from within the party to reform it, here is your answers. Heretics (meaning those with principles and not blind faith) are not welcomed.

Downtown Indy said...

This week I got invited to a 'thank the volunteers' cook out.

Last week it was a call to volunteer at the county fair for the 'Ballard for Mayor' folks.

I mean, really?!? This administration is not ashamed to schmooze when it wants help, but will it listen to or do what it promised to do for those same folks who voted? Hell no.

Patriot Paul said...

Violations of Party guidelines is nothing unusual. In fact, Republicans are known for eating their own and since the 1994 Rep.revolution with the contract with America eventually failed, and both major parties behaved as one giant corruptive influence peddling with only different labels, I'm not surprised about the local tunnel vision of stupidity. The local manipulators still haven't realized that the populist movement is for real and bucking the establishment's traditional business as usual. Ballard, Zoeller, Schneider, were backed by populists.
Some of us sent a message to RNC charman, Steele, asking 'What happend to the GOP?'(with P changed to Principles). Meanwhile, Steele was saying the same thing inside the Mariott. If any Party goes on a witch hunt of politics of personal destruction, it does so at its own peril.

Mike Kole said...

All cool by me. I expect we can recruit Liz over to the Libertarian Party now.

Douglass said...

Very well written, Paul. Thank you for standing up against the corrupt authoritarians.

I know said...

What is amiss here is no one will step up and take the mess in Indiana to the next level. These blogs keep calling out that everyone in Indiana knows the illegal garbage going on and the quotes are" We all know what is happening and no one will do anything about it and we as LAWYERS don't want to stick our neck out and loose our daily food"

Most people in these blogs truly understand white collar crime and politicians and LAWYERS are in it neck deep in Indiana. The Ogden blog complaining about teaching lawyers can be shored up very quickly in Indiana.

All of you current lawyers that know about the crooked activities in the Legislature, City Council, CIB, State Appointed Committees and Commissions need to become leaders instead of reporters on the internet.

Future LAWYERS will see what ethics, principles and practicing the right thing with the blind lady of justice if you just lead by example and indict these crooks you all keep laboring day in and day out about.

Your profession is only as good as you leave it and right now you all should be ashamed of your reluctance to clean up your own criminals. Quit fighting on blogs about who voted for who in stupid conventions and set the standard and make Indiana a place to do good business and ethical living.

Nobody said...

It's quite annoying when people say that Libertarians steal the votes from Republicans. As far as I know, I own my own vote--not the Republicans--and I gave up on the silly idea of the "wasted vote theory" which I learned long ago when I voted for Bob Dole in '96 and he lost--I truly wasted my vote after all. The fact is...the Republican party does not have principles. They lost them with their soul years ago. And as far as I'm concerned, Libertarians are gaining votes from both the Republicans and the Democrats because we stand up for fiscal conservative and social liberal issues. We represent the true voice of average "independent-minded" voters.